GLCF is an operational research and development project currently housed in the department of Geographical Sciences at the University of Maryland.
Funded primarily by NASA, the GLCF has been involved in numerous research projects encompassing the fields of remote sensing and information systems.
Over roughly a decade leveraging both custom off the shelf and in-house software solutions, GLCF has become one of the largest online repositories of
remotely sensed data and operationally distributes that data to users worldwide. Instrumental to GLCF's success is the ability to understand user requirements
and build web-based interfaces to facilitate quick and timely delivery of terrestrial data and products. GLCF is heavily involved and actively participates
in local and international organizations and is a member of the Earth Science Information Partners,
International Union of Conservation (IUCN) and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC).
GLCF's existing infrastructure includes a high-performance Linux cluster, featuring over 200 TB of tiered storage. The cluster comprises of Dell R410 and Sun Fire X4150 servers for data
processing, web servers, file servers, and database needs. Each Sun Oracle server has dual-socket Xeon quad-core 3.0 GHz processor with 8GB RAM and the Dell servers have dual-socket
hyper threaded hex-core 2.66 GHz processor with 64GB of RAM, and all servers are loosely coupled. This is the data processing system currently being used to produce global, multi-temporal
maps of surface reflectance, urbanization, forest cover and forest cover change from remotely sensed data.
GLCF has extensive knowledge in managing and processing large volumes of spatial data. Large volumes of downloads continue at all hours of every day of every week, with a current average of
over 17 terabytes transferred per month and peak distribution of over 30 terabytes per month. Over the years the GLCF has become one of the largest distributors of remotely sensed data and products in the world.